Thursday, August 7

Thursday, August 7

Louisiana earns high marks for revenue forecasting; Arkansas and Kentucky show steep decline in uninsured; Gov. Jindal continues to fight Common Core

Louisiana earns high marks for revenue forecasting
Finally, a list where Louisiana ranks at the top. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a new report that looks at the way states arrive at the revenue projections that governors and legislators use to craft the budget. The report, “Improving State Revenue Forecasting: Best Practices for a More Trusted and Reliable Revenue Estimate,” identifies five “best practices” that produce reliable forecasts that are as free as possible from political interference:

  • The governor and legislature should jointly produce the revenue estimate
  • The forecasting body should include outside experts
  • The forecast and its assumptions should be published and made easily accessible on the Internet
  • Meetings of the forecasting body should be open to the public
  • Estimates should be revised during the year

Louisiana is one of only 13 states meeting all of the report’s criteria.

Arkansas and Kentucky show sharp decline in uninsured
States that expanded Medicaid and established state-based marketplace exchanges instead of relying on the federal government saw the biggest decline in the rate of uninsured residents. Arkansas and Kentucky — two Southern states with historically high rates of uninsured – lead the pack, according to a Gallup survey.

“The uninsured rate in the states that have chosen to expand Medicaid and set up their own state exchange in the health insurance marketplace has declined significantly more in the first half of 2014 than in the remaining states that have not done so. The uninsured rate declined 4.0 points in the 21 states that have implemented both of these measures, compared with a 2.2-point drop across the 29 states that have implemented only one or neither of these actions.”

Louisiana, of course, rejected the opportunity to set up its own insurance marketplace and continues to refuse Medicaid expansion.

Louisiana YouthBuild programs awarded $2.9 million in grant funding
Northshore Technical Community College, Southern University at Shreveport and St. James Parish Government and Department of Human Resources in Convent will divvy up $2.9 million in grant awards from the U.S. Department of Labor. The goal of the initiative is to provide work-based training for youth preparing to enter the workforce.

“YouthBuild offers thousands of young people the tools, resources and opportunities they need to punch their ticket to the middle class,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These federal grants are part of our broader effort to invest in the future of our nation’s youth and help them climb the ladder of opportunity.”

Gov. Jindal continues to fight Common Core
Gov. Bobby Jindal continued to escalate the political showdown over Common Core, filing an injunction request in district court Wednesday to prohibit standardized tests that are based on the new standards. While Common Core standards are already being used in Louisiana classrooms, the governor objects to testing based on those standards. He argues that it is an attempt by the federal government todrive education curriculum from Washington, D.C.”

The governor also has suspended contracts to deliver testing material based on the standards, which has delayed testing plans for third through eighth graders.



Number of the Day

17.3: Percentage of U.S. adults reporting being without health insurance in 2013. (Source: Gallup Well-Being)